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Australian Watchdog Loses Powers

1 April 2004

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australia Age: "The Bracks Government rejected proposals to give a new gambling watchdog independent powers following a backlash from the gaming industry, documents reveal.

"Reports prepared for Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos show the Government did not act on proposals from welfare, church and local government groups to give the Advocate for Responsible Gambling statutory powers after the gaming industry warned the Government that the advocate could 'turn into an uncontrollable critic'.

"…Interchurch Gambling Taskforce chairman John Dalziel said yesterday there was no doubt the Government had acted in the interests of the gaming industry by giving the advocate, Kerrie Cross, few powers.

"…Mr Dalziel described the Government's gambling round-table initiative, chaired by Ms Cross, as a waste of time and said he was considering withdrawing from it…"

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